A Very Jolly Rancher

Jolly Ranchers first appeared in 1949, when Bill and Dorothy Harmsen founded the Jolly Rancher Company. They  originally only sold products to the kids living in the area around Denver, Colorado. Harmsen purposely gave his company the friendliest name imaginable so it was as appealing as possible to consumers. At the time, the Jolly Rancher Company sold chocolates and ice cream in addition to the hard candies, but clearly one was more popular than the others. Ice cream wasn’t very popular in the cold Colorado winter months, so Harmsen decided to focus on the hard candies because they were popular year round.

In 1951, the production of candy was moved from Golden, Colorado to Wheat Ridge, Colorado. In 1966, the Harmsens sold the Jolly Rancher Company to Beatrice Foods, and then in 1983, Beatrice Foods was sold to the Leaf Candy Company. The Hershey Company bought Jolly Ranchers in 1996, and production was moved to Mexico and Canada.

The Hershey Company expanded the range of Jolly Ranchers to include the same delicious flavors in lollipops, drinks, jelly beans, chewy candy, sour candy, gummy candies, and candy canes. You can even find Jolly Rancher pillows, shirts, and lip glosses. Jolly ranchers are now sold in supermarkets and convenience stores all over.

Jolly Ranchers originally came in apple, grape, and Fire Stix flavors. Lemon, cherry, and pineapple were added later on. Eventually blue raspberry was included in the possible flavor options. Today the official flavors are watermelon, apple, grape, cherry, and blue raspberry. There are also special Jolly Ranchers for Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day, to make every holiday jolly!

I remember in elementary school, kids would go crazy for Jolly Ranchers. The favorite flavor among my friends in particular was blue raspberry, but my personal favorite was always cherry. Although hard candy hasn’t always been popular among young children, Jolly Ranchers always seemed to be the exception to this rule. Teachers would often bribe students into volunteering and participating in class through the one and only Jolly Rancher hard candy.

Believe it or Not: One time, cops from New York City arrested a couple of guys for carrying what the cops thought to be crystal meth, when after testing, it was found that the “crystal meth” was actually blue raspberry Jolly Rancher candies.







Wow Baby Ruth

“Saving enough soda bottles at  two cents a bottle was not easy when every kid in the neighborhood was looking for those bottles. Not many people drank soda, so it was difficult to get 3 bottles to make up enough for a 5 cent candy bar. Baby Ruth was my favorite, so to look for dropped pennies or a soda bottle was like treasure hunting with a wonderful treasure to receive. In such small hands a candy bar seemed really large. What a treat is was and I still love them today.”

 ~Evelyn from Connecticut


Baby Ruth is a chocolate candy bar filled with gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and a chewy nougat. Originally at only five cents per bar, it was half the price of other candy bars at the time. Because of this and its deliciousness, Baby Ruth quickly became one of the best- selling candy bars available on the market. After just five years of production, five million Baby Ruth bars were being sold each and every day.

Introduced in 1921, Baby Ruth was first named Kandy Kake, but the product is said to be revamped and renamed after the daughter of President Grover Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland. However, there are some who believe it is questionable that the candy was actually named after Ruth Cleveland and not Babe Ruth, the baseball star.

Baby Ruth suspiciously first appeared on shelves at the same time Babe Ruth became one of the most famous people in the United States. Critics find it hard to believe that the Curtiss Candy Company would name a candy bar after the daughter of a former president. Not to mention, Ruth Cleveland died of diphtheria from tonsillitis complications at the age of twelve in 1904, over seventeen years before the production of the Baby Ruth bar.

The Curtiss Candy Company stands by the belief that Babe Ruth did not become a star until long after the introduction of Baby Ruth in 1921. However, there are some key facts that dispute this statement. Prior to the 1920 baseball season, Babe Ruth established himself as a star outfielder and hitter on the New York Yankees. By fall of 1921, Babe Ruth had more press than the president of the United States, Warren Harding. Ruth became so famous that his salary was greater than President Herbert Hoover’s in 1930.

No matter where the origins of the name come from, one things for sure- the Baby Ruth candy bar is a delicious treat to be enjoyed for generations.


Fun Fact: The candy, Baby Ruth, has made appearances in movies such as The Goonies and Caddyshack.